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Birks Reports Higher Holiday Sales

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The company runs 46 luxury jewelry stores.

MONTREAL — Birks Group Inc. (NYSE MKT: BGI), which operates 46 luxury jewelry stores across Canada, Florida and Georgia, reported that comparable store sales for the holiday season increased by 11 percent compared with the equivalent period a year earlier.

The figures for the period from Oct. 30 through Dec. 31 were reported on a consolidated constant exchange rate basis.

Comparable store sales in the U.S. increased by 16 percent, while Canadian comparable store sales grew by 3 percent. Comparable store sales include stores open in the same period in both the current and prior year.

The company said growth in comparable store sales in both Canada and the U.S. was primarily the result of its success in growing its average sales transaction and conversion rates.

“We are very pleased to see that the continued execution of our sales growth strategies has led to a record year in terms of holiday sales,” said Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO of Birks Group. “These results were driven by our focus on our Birks-branded products, our marketing campaigns as well as our continued dedication to enhancing customer experience.”

Bédos added: “We also recognize the great support we received from our key suppliers and from our senior lenders who, in December, extended our senior credit facilities at favorable terms to 2021. As we enter the final quarter of our fiscal year, we are confident that we will build on the momentum of these holiday season successes.”

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The company operates 26 stores under the Birks brand in most major metropolitan markets of Canada, 17 stores in Florida and Georgia under the Mayors brand, one store under the Rolex brand name and two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand.

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Blue Nile Names CEO from Outside Jewelry Industry

He brings nearly 20 years of executive leadership experience.

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Blue Nile CEO Sean Krell

Sean Krell

SEATTLE — Blue Nile, the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, announced the appointment of Sean Kell as CEO.

Kell most recently served as CEO at A Place for Mom, America’s largest senior living referral service. He brings nearly 20 years of executive leadership in ecommerce, digital innovation, brand marketing, call center operations and product management across organizations such as Expedia, Hotels.com and Starbucks.

“Blue Nile revolutionized the consumer experience of purchasing diamonds and fine jewelry online,” said Kell. “The opportunity to deepen customer relationships and offer an extraordinary experience when shopping for the most cherished moments in their lives is an honor. I am excited to join the team and amplify our strategic priorities.”

Kell succeeds Eric Anderson, who has served as the company’s interim CEO since January 2019.

“As the engagement ring and fine jewelry industries continue to evolve, Sean’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate Blue Nile’s modern approach to becoming our customer’s jeweler for life,” said David Humphrey, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity and a member of the board of directors.

“Sean is a seasoned leader, and we are thrilled to have him as Blue Nile’s next CEO.”

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Jeweler Hit With Sledgehammer While Fighting Off Robbers (VIDEO)

Four suspects were arrested.

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A jewelry-store owner in Santa Monica, CA, was hit with a sledgehammer during a robbery, KABC-TV reports.

Three juveniles and an adult were reportedly involved in the smash-and-grab robbery at Heist Jewelry, which took place Thursday afternoon.

The owner pushed one of the suspects out of the store, and another suspect struck the owner with the sledgehammer, according to the report.

The suspects fled, leaving the owner with minor injuries.

Police soon found and arrested all four suspects.

The adult suspect was booed on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, news outlets reported. The juveniles were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault.

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Power-Cutting Burglars Target Jewelry Stores in Northeast

The trend has spread to New Jersey and Connecticut.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that power-cutting thieves have been targeting jewelry stores in the Northeast.

The latest incidents took place in New Jersey and Connecticut. The pattern has played out in many states, with burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems, but previously had occurred mainly in the West, Midwest and South.

These are the incidents the JSA reported in a bulletin to retailers:

Morris Plains, NJ, July 27

At 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening two males and one female cut the power to a retail jewelry store, but police reported they left without trying to get inside the store. The same gang was reported to have done the same thing at jewelry stores in Sparta, NJ, on July 26, 2019, and in Bedminster, NJ.

Darien, CT, Aug. 8

At 11:20 p.m. suspects turned the power off at a downtown jewelry store at the outside electrical box. The power interruption tripped the burglar alarm, and the suspects waited for the police response. On Saturday, August 10, the same suspects returned at 6:20 p.m. and again turned the power off. It is believed that the suspects again waited to observe police response, and to wait for the back-up battery to be exhausted. However, no entry was made to the store. 

Fairfield, CT, Aug. 11

Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 11, a retail jeweler received a call from his alarm company regarding the loss of power to his store. The jeweler discovered the electrical meter cover had been pried off the box. The police responded and no suspects were observed.

JSA reported in June that it was aware of over 50 cases in which burglars had cut power lines.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.

 

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